JK on that title, guys. I don't do anything perfectly, pretty sure we all know that. Anyway, I AM going to tell y'all about our experience in renting our place out on Air BnB and try to address some common things people ask. I'll break it into two parts so my story-telling doesn't overload you. Here's the first part, explaining how we got into this deal to begin with...
So, we moved back to Stillwater (a college town) last summer and bought this little fixer-upper. We plan to move out at some point but thought we might keep this place for a rental. And we had the idea that maybe Air BnB would be something to try versus long-term renting. However, we did not plan to rent out our home while we were living in it. That happened only by an unforeseen emergency.
See, Spencer's dad hurt his knee to the point that he had to have immediate surgery and then was placed in a nursing home where we were told he would stay for 2-3 months while he recovered. We figured we would test out our Air BnB idea on his apartment while it sat empty during football season. We cleaned it all up and de-bachelorized it, trying to make a comfy place for visitors to stay. I scoured thrift stores for all the necessities. As soon as we listed it on Air BnB, it filled up. Every weekend that there was a home game got booked as did some when the game was away.
So, the first Friday when we would have guests staying arrived. Spencer went to hide the key in the designated spot and found a flood when he arrived. The upstairs apartment had a hot water tank burst and water was pouring into the place. We also got a call that day that my father-in-law was being sent out of the nursing home on Sunday. He was there for 2-3 weeks rather than the 2-3 months we were told. I immediately canceled all our bookings and told people what had happened. Most were very kind and understanding though disappointed. Spencer worked on finding a new place for his dad to live while I worked on cleaning our house like a madwoman. Though I had canceled all future guests, I couldn't stand the thought of leaving our Friday and Saturday night guests high and dry with no time to find anything else.
While I messaged everyone else to say that there was nothing I could do for them, I told that weekend's guests that I could offer them our home. Both groups accepted the offer even though it was further from campus. Thank goodness Spencer's mom let us stay at her house at the last minute! (But we did have to move a bed from the apartment to her house. Just one more job for the day of doom!)
I got it cleaned to the best of my abilities, fixed a bowl of snack foods and dashed to the store for toilet paper with only moments to spare. We realized one of the back rooms we use as an office and dressing room had no hope of getting cleaned and neither did the toy room so Spencer just screwed those doors shut! It was crazy, obviously.
But Friday night our guests checked in and had a great time. When I came to meet them as they were leaving, I found them changing sheets and washing towels! They were helping me! Saturday's guests arrived and I never heard a peep from them. They left the house just as they had found it. We had an exhausting weekend moving Spencer's dad from one apartment to another and emotionally I was really down about having to cancel on our other guests. Not to mention all the work we had put into sprucing up the old apartment! But, all that being said, we had made our mortgage payment for the month in two nights. Hmmmmmm...
After that, I knew my brother's wedding was coming up on OSU's homecoming weekend. So, we booked an Air BnB closer to the wedding and rented our house out for 3x the price of the one we stayed at. So, really we have only done it twice but both times I can whole-heartedly say IT WAS WORTH IT!
Now we have parked a camper out at a local lake and we can go stay there whenever we want so I've listed our house for rent for every weekend. I'm interested to see what the demand is when it's not football season. I can tell you, though, that May's mortgage payment will be made graduation weekend!
Now that I've explained our story, I'll talk about some of the common questions and concerns of friends who may want to try making some money this way.
Stay tuned for Part Two coming tomorrow!